I always enjoyed writing, but my degree is actually in photography. I had a job as a newspaper photographer when I got out of college, and eventually I started writing for the paper as well. I had my own column about local history. That eventually led into writing and photographing books on local history.
I’ve written five non-fiction books and co-authored a cookbook, but I always wanted to get into fiction. My sixth book, The Medal, a novel, was released in September 2012 and is a work of inspirational fiction, and it’s based on a true story.
My writing schedule has always revolved around my kids schedule. When they were young, I’d write late at night. Now that they’re in school, I write during the day. I don’t set goals of writing a certain amount of words per day. I think that’s unrealistic. Some days writing comes easy, some days it doesn’t, so I don’t like to put that kind of pressure on myself. I’m very disciplined and have never missed a deadline. It all works out in the end. As for how long it took to write my novel, from start to finish about three years. That includes initial outlines and character development, writing the novel, professional edits, and revisions. I went through four major revisions and three professional edits before I was done.
The response I have gotten from my readers is “This book has changed my life.” It’s a message about hope, faith and believing in miracles. It’s a very powerful story, especially for caretakers or for anyone going through challenging times when you may lose your faith or doubt that God is with you.
You recently had another book published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy your books?
When twenty-one-year-old pastry chef Bethany Fitzpatrick says goodbye to her own dreams to stay home and care for her disabled father, her faith and life are shattered, until years later when a mysterious stranger—who seems to have stepped straight off the set of The Godfather—appears in her bakery, tells her about a deceased Italian friar named Padre Pio who performed miracles, and restores Bethany’s faith in God, herself, and even…angels.
I truly believe that it was God and Padre Pio (the saint who bore the stigmata) who led me to write this book. My father suffered with Multiple Sclerosis for 16 years. It was a very difficult time for him as well as for my family. I had reached a very low point in my faith life, questioning God, being angry, wondering why this was happening. A stranger came into my life and gave me a Padre Pio medal that contained a relic. A miracle surrounding that medal occurred the night my father died. It changed my life forever. The story and the message behind that event was meant to be told. So the character of John Fitzpatrick is based on my father, and his daughter Bethany, is a combination of myself and my mother. I took what I felt and what I witnessed during my father’s illness, and combined that with my mother’s role as caretaker to make one strong character. The character of Jimmy, the Italian stranger, is based on the man who gave me the medal.
Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through? Who’s inspired you the most?
The book industry is extremely challenging, and yes, there were occasions when I wanted to toss in the towel, but I can’t change who I am. I’m a creative person. I’m a writer. I’m an author. It’s in my blood, and the reward of making a difference in someone’s life because they’ve read your written word is beyond amazing. I love doing book signings, giving lectures and sharing my story. To get the feedback I do from readers is just unbelievable. It helps get me through the more difficult times. As for who’s inspired me, it’s actually a fictitious character…Rocky Balboa from the Rocky movies. The message behind those movies is so strong. To never give up, no matter what, and to always following your dream.
For my first five books I had a small press publisher. For my novel I really wanted an agent and a traditional publisher. I spent a year querying agents to no avail. Unless you have connections, it’s very difficult to get beyond the slush pile. That was one of those frustrating moments when I would say, “I should have been a marine biologist.” It was really a difficult time period for me. There was nothing but rejection and negativity. It was my husband who encouraged me to self-publish. I was dead set against it at first because of the stigma associated with it. We found a great publisher though, Dog Ear Publishing, and I must say, I did like making all the decisions, as to the cover, the font, the size of the book, etc. There are still challenges though, as far as getting the book out there, and I’m trying to work through them. I don’t think as an author you ever just sit back and relax. Writing a book is 50% of the work. Marketing it is the other 50%. Besides the wonderful response I’ve gotten from my readers, I’ve also received two very prestigious book awards in the self-publishing market. I received a silver medal in the 2013 IPPY Awards in the Christian Fiction category, and I was a finalist in the 2013 INDIE Excellence Awards. That really gave me confirmation that my book is good, and then it really doesn’t matter whether it was traditionally published or self-published.
Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could? Etc.
When I’m not writing all I want to do is spend time at the beach, even in the winter. I’m a sea turtle beach patrol volunteer for the Riverhead Foundation on Long Island, NY. I look for cold stunned turtles during the winter. Nature and animals really help clear my mind from all the book stuff. I’ve also been doing yoga for almost twenty years and I quilt. Food is another big part of my life, so I’m always cooking, growing vegetables, composting and entertaining.
The website for The Medal is www.padrepiomedal.com. For more information on my other books, my blogs and social networking you can visit my author website at www.kerriannflanaganbrosky.com
Thank you for joining me today!
Folks, leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win Kerriann's book.